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The Greencards

Fascination – 2009 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by The Greencards

With each album, The Greencards move further away from conventional country or bluegrass and closer to their own unique sound, filtered through various world music elements and traditional folk instruments.

The Avenue is typical of the band's approach with an insistently strummed rhythm that's vaguely Greek or klezmer, punctuated by melodic vocal harmonies on the chorus blasts and interwoven with violin. Three Four Time and Lover I Love the Best recast vocalist Carol Young as a smoky, languid jazz singer, while Little Siam is an instrumental allowing the rest of the band to shine.

Fans of previous work may find familiar ground in songs like the mellow Water in the Well or the upbeat, jangly River Town. The Irish touches they have employed in the past are also present in several places here, lending the proceedings a lilting air that makes this perhaps the band's most diverse recording yet. The fascination for The Greencards, it seems, is with making music without boundaries - geography or genre.